Mechanisms for rapid organisational cultural change to support lean implementation

Newman, Ian (2021) Mechanisms for rapid organisational cultural change to support lean implementation. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis advances the field of socio-technical work design by creating specific sociotechnical instruments in order to rapidly develop an organisational culture that can better sustain lean implementation. It starts by introducing the origins of lean, its purpose to remove operational wastes through defining what value is in the eyes of the customer, and identifies its socio-technical and complex nature. The literature survey justifies the application of a sociotechnical framework approach to reviewing the current-state of manufacturing organisations, and within such demonstrates the inclusion of organisational culture as a node within a 6-node socio-technical model that also includes: goals; people, processes and procedures; infrastructure; and technology. This is followed by a systematic review that demonstrates a high failure rate amongst lean implementations. The same review sought out the most prevalent barriers and interventions that were considered to either have contributed to lean success or were attributed as an obstacle. The interventions and obstacles were then classified by node in accord with the previously selected socio-technical framework. These unwanted outcomes were then cross-checked by reviewing three existing socio-technical work designs within the manufacturing sector; these were named inherent designs given that they have been established using largely traditional approaches to manufacturing work design, which only theoretically suit lean implementation, but in actuality may not. The drivers and resistors to lean from these inherent designs were merged with the information taken from the systematic review and literature survey in order to create a baseline for barriers and interventions that a revised/enhanced implementation needed to address. This design was to be named the lean-culture design given that it was constructed after obtaining further knowledge from a systematic review of empirical studies. Wider reading was undertaken in an array of theories that offered either benefit or relevance to the barriers and interventions that the lean-culture design needed to address. A selection was made based on inclusion criteria, and the lean-culture design was created along with an instruction guide on how to implement it within a manufacturing organisation. An implementation assessment was also created using a Likert scale with detailed definitions so that the level/quality of implementation against the instructions could be accurately assessed. Six implementations were made across six different European plants within the same global tier-1 automotive component manufacturer. These implementations were assessed using: an implementation standard assessment; gathered artefacts; a qualitative semi-structured interview with the local implementers. The thesis identifies that provided the implementation standard assessment is circa eighty percent or above, then not only does the work design enable fiscal impact through lean implementation, but the design also seemingly becomes fully adopted as the new way of working, and a new culture is established. Furthermore, the organisations above this level of implementation demonstrate further innovation upon the lean-culture design. The weakness in the new work design is the observable investment in Gemba actor time through routine involvement in improvement meetings. Whilst this is easily recovered by the cost savings the lean implementations are producing, new leadership that is unfamiliar to the design may see such activity as a cost saving opportunity and inadvertently break the work design by removing the Gemba actor routine involvement.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2022 10:21
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 10:21

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